It's been brought to my attention that people might have the wrong idea about the whole Put Up or Shut Up 2006 idea...
I guess that it has to do with the general perception that I am, as they say "a cocky bastard." As a result, people are making the assumption that either:
a) the whole thing is intended by me to be a way to show off my skills, and/or
b) a way to make other people look bad.
I guess that, given the impression people have of me - I should have been able to predict that this would be the interpretation. I probably should have tried to either figure out a better way to manage this or should have had someone else suggest the whole idea.
Honestly... the majority of my motivation for the whole idea has to do with the non-tangible aspects of the Internet conflicting with the very physical nature of espresso. Seriously, haven't you wondered what the shots people post photos of really taste like? I think one of the reasons why most of the talk on the internet about coffee is not about taste is that you cannot capture and share that taste in this medium. Well... this is the chance. This could be the opportunity for you to actually taste one of those sick looking naked espressoporn shots. This could be the opportunity for me to either demonstrate or fail to demonstrate one of my many theories to you.
I share thoughts on espresso with people like Jimmy - but he's only tasted two shots from me and I've never had a chance to taste a shot pulled by him. Alistair and I trade theories all the time - but I don't think I've ever pulled shots for him.
Now... to be fair... there is a part of me that also wants to force people to step up and put their rep on the line.
And... to be blunt... even with the (very small) list of interested party I have to admit that I know all too well that I'm about to get my ass kicked. There are two or three folks who has said they're in who can run circles around me as a barista. But that's okay - I may be cocky but I'm not unrealistic about my own skills.
Given the feedback I've received I would like to suggest some revisions to the proposed structure. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we remove "scoring" and instead only have written tasting notes and opinions. In addition, I think that all "entrants" should also judge so that it is a peer deal (with other folks judging as well). Finally, I think that the WBC style standardized temp, portafilter, basket stuff should (if possible at a logistic level) not be used in this case.